sla comprehension teks talk image

Knowledge and Skills Statement

Comprehension skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student uses metacognitive skills to both develop and deepen comprehension of increasingly complex texts.

While reading aloud, have students share with the group what they picture in their heads. Then, instruct them to work with a partner to continue reading and discuss their mental images. Have students draw one of their mental images in their reading notebooks. Additionally, have students include a caption or explanation of their images along with the page and paragraph number the image represents.

Further Explanation

This assessment requires students to demonstrate a deeper understanding of a text through discussion and illustration of the mental images they create while reading. Being able to create accurate mental images is a strong indicator that the student understands what the student is reading.

When students create mental images, they picture in their minds what they are reading or hearing. Being able to produce accurate mental images is a strong indicator that students understand what they have read. Students create mental images by using the details related to the senses (i.e., how something sounds, feels, tastes, looks, and/or smells) to visualize what is being described.


1. Liang, L. A., & Galda, L. (2009). Responding and comprehending: reading with delight and understanding. The Reading Teacher, 63(4), 330+. Retrieved from

Summary: Using the book Because of Winn-Dixie as their focal text, the authors describe the use of predicting and visualization exercises in the classroom. Students are asked to reflect on a personal situation in which they were new and consider how that felt and what happened. This reflection serves as a springboard for students to make predictions about what will happen in the story's narrative structure. The visualization exercise focuses on getting children to visualize images from poetry, and then illustrate those images. Although the article is targeted for primary grades, it can be scaffolded for older students. For example, students could illustrate a poem through digital art or photography.

2. Barbe-Clevett, T., Hanley, N., & Sullivan, P. (2002). Improving reading comprehension through metacognitive reflection. (Master theses, Saint Xavier University).  Retrieved from

Summary: This research reports on a plan for increasing 6th grade students' reflection and comprehension skills. The reflective process was developed through four interrelated activities taught in a specific sequence. Post-intervention data shows an increased in reading skills along with an increased emotional involvement in reading.

3. Boerma, I. E., Mole, S. E., & Jolles, J. (2016). Reading pictures for story comprehension requires mental imagery skills. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1630.

Summary: In this study, researchers examined the influence of mental imagery on the reading comprehension of 150 fifth graders. The study was comprised of two control groups and one experimental group. The two control groups used either the full chapter with words only or with images only. The experiment group read a book chapter that alternated text blocks followed by one to two pages of images. The findings revealed that students with higher mental imagery outperformed those students with lower imagery skills. This suggests that texts and images should be integrated in order to increase students' reading comprehension.